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CompuChess [1]

an early dedicated chess computer with a Fairchild F8 8-Bit processor running at 1.78 MHz, with 2 KiB ROM and 256 bytes RAM, developed by David B. Goodrich & Associates from September 1976 until April 1977, manufactured by Data Cash Systems Inc. and market by a company called Staid Inc., also of Largo, Florida, available since November 1977 [2].


In 1978, an exact copy of the ROM appeared in the Novag Chess Champion MK I and Sugarman's JS&A computer [3], the ROM produced by the same manufacturer General Instruments Corporation, who informed Data Cash Systems on that incident in June 1978 [4]. Since Data Cash Systems didn't adequately protect their copyright, they lost their court case vs. JS&A Group [5] [6] [7], and then their appeal [8].


by David Levy and Monroe Newborn [9] [10]

... In 1977 the first dedicated chess computers came on the scene. One of these, called CompuChess, had a short lived future under its own name but a much more successful existence in pirated form. The chess playing program in Compuchess was copied by a Hong Kong manufacturer who marketed a product containing the program under the name “Chess Champion MK I.” The copy was exact - no attempt had been made to hide the fact by changing some of the program code. The Chess Champion MK I was an enormous marketing success and the manufacturer was able to buy a 57-foot yacht on the proceeds. Litigation followed, but in those days there was little or no copyright protection available to those who owned computer programs and the suit eventually  fizzled out, after lawyers on both sides had no doubt benefited substantially ... 



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